From The Mobilist Inbox This Week
Each Wednesday, The Mobilist highlights reader articles on Medium, comments, and updates.
The coming fast-charging bonanza: Last month, I wrote that starting in the second half of the decade, fast-charging your electric car will cost roughly the same as filling up with gasoline. There has been pushback—numerous members of the battery community argued that today’s low prices will hold even after EVs reach price parity with gasoline-powered vehicles and automakers are no longer more or less forced to provide charging as a loss leader. But Mobilist reader Nikola Madjarov has kindly provided an example of what I mean: Europe, where fast charging is already getting close to the price of petrol.
Consider France. If you limp up to an Ionity fast charger with just 10% left in your 75 kWh battery and charge up to 80%, it would cost about $50. That’s 35% less than an equivalent fill-up of petrol and roughly the same price on average as filling your whole tank in the United States. For those who still think fast charging will be more or less given away, consider what you pay for cellphone and broadband service; those companies could also charge utility rates for their product, but they don’t. Fast-charging entrepreneurs are likely to make a business of their investment, and the full tank of gasoline is the closest proximate comparative product.
When to worry about your F-150: My brother David called last weekend. He was on the brink of trading in his F-150 pickup for a newer one but was apprehensive — could he be walking into a trap by buying a year before Ford comes out with its electric F-150? Could the combustion F-150 become obsolete over the subsequent three or so years? I thought the gamble was worth taking but did offer up the risk: Not that the F-150 would be outdated, but that the market could begin to anticipate obsolescence and in that mindset discount the value of used combustion pickups. He went ahead and bought the newer model and is glad he did. I agree it’s a sharp vehicle.
EV nationalism: I wrote last week about EV and battery nationalism — the United States, China, and Europe are all putting down bets to win dominance in the new age of electricity. Mobilist reader Robert Roth wrote back with a link to an op-ed he posted on his Medium site advocating for the United States to win.